Watch Spike Mendelsohn Prepare the State Luncheon for Canada’s Prime Minister

The State Department’s Instagram feed is better known for pics of policymakers than #foodgrams, but today is a little different. Chef Spike Mendelsohn has taken over @StateDept as he prepares the State Lunch for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Secretary of State John Kerry, and others.

Hi everyone, I’m Spike Mendelsohn – former Top Chef contestant, co-owner of Good Stuff Eatery; We, the Pizza; and Bernaise and proud Canadian-American. I’m also the head chef for today’s State Luncheon in honor of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Follow along as I take over the @StateDept Instagram!

A photo posted by Spike Mendelsohn (@spikethechef) on

The State Department blog reports that Mendelsohn was chosen because of his Canadian-American ties—the chef was born in Montreal, and grew up in Florida. He’s also a member of the American Chef Corps, chairs the District’s Food Policy Council, and co-owns Capitol Hill’s Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza, both frequented by the Obama family.

While the State Dinner, prepared by White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford, will feature indulgences like poutine and Canadian whiskey, the State Lunch is fairly healthy. The meal will begin with a smoked salmon salad, followed by braised beef short ribs with spring vegetables. Follow along as the menu comes to life.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.